Verse 1 – Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.”
Verse 2 – So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.
Verse 3 – And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate it, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.
If we digest God’s Word, we will find that not only does it make us stronger in our faith, but its wisdom sweetens our lives. Reading God’s word feeds our spirit, just as food is for the body.
Verse 4 – And He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them.
Verse 5 – “For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel,
Verse 6 – “not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you.
In other words: I’m sending you to your own people who understand you perfectly. However, if I had sent you to the Chaldeans, whose language you don’t understand they would have listened to you.
Verse 7 – “But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted.
Jesus commented that a prophet receives honor everywhere but his hometown (Matthew 13:57). Even though there was little hope of bringing about repentance, God had still sent prophets so the people would realize that His Word had been among them.
Verse 8 – “Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads.
God made Ezekiel’s strength superior to theirs – a metaphor taken from horned animals.
Verse 9 – “Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”
Verse 10 – Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears.
Verse 11 – “And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”
Ezekiel needed to take God’s words to heart before preaching them to others. We too must take God’s words and allow them to sink deep in our hearts before we can affect others with the Gospel. Our lie-style and actions have to line up with God’s Word.
Verse 12 – Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: “Blessed is the glory of the Lord from His place!”
Verse 13 – I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise.
Verse 14 – So the spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.
In the bitterness and heat of Ezekiel’s spirit was the righteous indignation at the wickedness of his own people. He knew before hand, the message he was about to give would be rejected.
The spirit of God, lifted him up and carried him to where the Jews were captive.
Verse 15 – Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.
Ezekiel sat quietly among the people for seven days. This was the customary period of mourning for the dead (Genesis 50:10). Ezekiel was mourning for those who were spiritually dead. I’m sure Ezekiel was in awe of what he had just seen and heard also. That would take seven days for anyone to get heir bearings again.
Verse 16 – Now it came to pass at the end of the seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
Verse 17 – “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:
Verse 18 – “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Simply put: God had assigned Ezekiel as the watchman, to warn the people of coming judgement. If Ezekiel chose not to warn them, then God would hold him responsible.
Verse 19 – “Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
Verse 20 – “Again, when a righteous man turns from righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.
All believers have the responsibility of telling others the consequences of rejecting God. It is the responsibility of every believer to show in action and deed, that there is a better life with Jesus Christ. This responsibility keeps us from becoming callous or unconcerned in our attitude towards the lost!
Verse 21 – “Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”
Verse 22 – Then the hand of the Lord was upon me there, and He said to me, “Arise, go out into the plain, and there I shall talk with you.”
Go forth – away from the people, to a place remote and without distraction, where the glory of the Lord might have sufficient room to manifest.
Verse 23 – So I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory which I saw by the River Chebar, and I fell on my face.
Sometimes, others aren’t invited to where God wants to take you. In these quiet secluded times, maybe God wants only you to hear what He has to say.
Verse 24 – Then the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and spoke with me and said to me: “Go, shut yourself inside your house.
Verse 25 – “And you, O son of man, surely they will put ropes on you and bind you with them, so that you cannot go out among them.
Verse 26 – “I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and not be a reprover to them, for they are a rebellious house.
Verse 27 – “But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.’ He who hears, let him hear, and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.
Don’t you wish at times, that God would have just shut us up from talking? We can be so hurtful at times. By shutting Ezekiel’s mouth until God told him to speak, the people would realized that what Ezekiel said had only come from God.
Self-control of what we speak to others can have a tremendous effect on how others feel about themselves. We should never, ever, forget whom we represent as believers!